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Archive for February, 2012

Dear Visitors,

I think this is a good way to keep healthy, easy to follow and to know the best time to drink water to your best benefits.

  • 2 glasses of water upon waking up help to activate all organs.
  • 1 glass  of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps  digestion (3 meals so 3 glasses).
  • 1 glass of water before taking  a bath – helps lower blood pressure.
  • 1  glass of water before going to bed – avoids  stroke or heart  attack.

(All in 7 glasses a day minimum, right?)

Please  pass this to the people you care about …

(Source: From A Cardiac Specialist)

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Losing fitness or packing on fat with age each can be bad for the heart – but avoiding either one of those fates may protect the ticker, a study published on 6 February 2012 suggests.

U.S. researchers found that of more than 3,100 healthy adults they followed, those who improved – or simply maintained – their fitness levels were less likely to develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other well-established heart disease risk factors.

Similarly, people who maintained their weight had fewer of those red flags than people who became heavier over time.

That may sound logical, but part of what’s new in the findings, researchers say, is that changes in fitness and “fatness” each appeared important on their own.

In general, people who kept their fitness levels over time seemed to counter some of the ill effects of weight gain. And dips in fitness levels weren’t as bad if a person lost some excess body fat.

The results suggest that protecting heart health is not as hard as some people think, according to lead researcher Duck-chul Lee, of the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

That is, just maintaining your weight and fitness levels as you age may be enough to see benefits.

“If you’re overweight, losing weight and improving your fitness may be the best combination,” Lee told Reuters Health. “But that’s very challenging.”

For many people, “maintenance” may be more achievable, Lee said.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, included 3,148 men and women in the Dallas area who were in their early 40s, on average, at the outset.

Over six years, they developed high blood pressure at a rate of four percent each year, high cholesterol at a rate of three percent per year and so-called metabolic syndrome at a rate of two percent per year. (Metabolic syndrome refers to a collection of risk factors for heart disease – including high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, abdominal obesity and high blood sugar.)

But people who kept up or improved their fitness levels – as measured during treadmill tests – had lower odds of developing those heart risk factors.

Their risks of high blood pressure or high cholesterol were 26 percent to 30 percent lower, versus people whose fitness levels declined. And their risk of metabolic syndrome was 42 percent to 52 percent lower.

Similarly, when people increased their percentage of body fat over time, they were more likely to develop heart risk factors.

For each one percent increase in body fat, the odds of those risk factors climbed anywhere from three percent to eight percent.

But in general, people who gained weight stayed healthier if they kept up their fitness levels. And if overweight people shed some fat, they countered some of the negative effects of waning fitness.

The bottom line, according to Lee, is that people who are active should stay active. Even if you don’t see a benefit on your bathroom scale, you’ll stay fit.

“If you’re already exercising, keep it up, and maybe increase the intensity if you can,” Lee said.

If you’re sedentary but healthy, he said, you can safely take up moderate exercise like brisk walking. Lee added, though, that people who are obese or have chronic health conditions should talk to their doctors first.

“It’s the sedentary people who will get the most benefit from exercise in a short time,” Lee said.

He was, however, referring to the benefit of improved fitness. Overweight people often fail to see the pounds fly off when they first start exercising — possibly because they are hungrier and start eating more.

Don’t get discouraged by that, Lee said. You can improve your cardiovascular fitness even without shedding the extra body fat. One way to tell if your fitness is improving, Lee said, is to simply notice how you feel when you go about your normal exercise routine; if it’s getting easier, you’re getting fitter.

To actually lose weight, diet changes are needed as well.

“Most people will lose weight with exercise,” Lee said, “if they also pay attention to the calories they’re taking in.”

(SOURCE: http://bit.ly/dIuKje Journal of the American College of Cardiology, online February 6, 2012)

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Elderly adults who regularly drink green tea may stay more agile and independent than their peers over time, according to a Japanese study that covered thousands of people.

Green tea contains antioxidant chemicals that may help ward off the cell damage that can lead to disease. Researchers have been studying green tea’s effect on everything from cholesterol to the risk of certain cancers, with mixed results so far.

For the new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers decided to examine the question of whether green tea drinkers have a lower risk of frailty and disability as they grow older.

Yasutake Tomata of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and his colleagues followed nearly 14,000 adults aged 65 or older for three years.

They found those who drank the most green tea were the least likely to develop “functional disability,” or problems with daily activities or basic needs, such as dressing or bathing.

Specifically, almost 13 percent of adults who drank less than a cup of green tea per day became functionally disabled, compared with just over 7 percent of people who drank at least five cups a day.

“Green tea consumption is significantly associated with a lower risk of incident functional disability, even after adjustment for possible confounding factors,” Tomata and his colleagues wrote.

The study did not prove that green tea alone kept people spry as they grew older.

Green-tea lovers generally had healthier diets, including more fish, vegetables and fruit, as well as more education, lower smoking rates, fewer heart attacks and strokes, and greater mental sharpness.

They also tended to be more socially active and have more friends and family to rely on.

But even with those factors accounted for, green tea itself was tied to a lower disability risk, the researchers said.

People who drank at least five cups a day were one-third less likely to develop disabilities than those who had less than a cup per day. Those people who averaged three or four cups a day had a 25 percent lower risk.

Although it’s not clear how green tea might offer a buffer against disability, Tomata’s team did note that one recent study found green tea extracts seem to boost leg muscle strength in older women.

While green tea and its extracts are considered safe in small amounts, they do contain caffeine and small amounts of vitamin K, which means it could interfere with drugs that prevent blood clotting.

(Source: http://bit.ly/wXuZbl, Report from Reuters, 7 February 2012)

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